Published: Sat, June 30, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Messi to have view of giant Ronaldo mural from Argentina's team hotel

Messi to have view of giant Ronaldo mural from Argentina's team hotel

Argentina endured a hard group stage at the World Cup, scraping through by the skin of their teeth thanks to an 86th-minute Marcos Rojo goal in a 2-1 win over Nigeria.

Messi opened the scoring in the first half with a sublime effort, but Victor Moses dragged Nigeria back into the game from the penalty spot.

"It is logic that having the best player in the world makes you dependant on him", he said.

A huge mural depicting Messi appeared next to the Ramada Hotel in Kazan, where the Argentinian team are staying ahead of their last-16 clash against France, just meters away from a picture of Ronaldo that was painted a year ago.

Midfielder Ever Banega provided a great link up with Messi, spraying an inch-perfect pass for Messi's opener whilst controlling possession with his passing ability and creativity in the middle of the pitch. We are in the process of imposing an Argentinean style of play.

Croatia's win over Iceland on Tuesday, which followed victories over Nigeria and Argentina, secured their place at the top of Group D and a place in the last 16.

"I remember that point in time but everything I say to my players is personal and I will not divulge what was said", he told a news conference.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) looks at Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on May 6, 2018.

That scenario sparked debate ahead of Thursday's England-Belgium group match - was it better to win and enter the tougher side of the draw or lose and face potentially easier fixtures down the line?

The team representing Africa's most populous nation, making their sixth World Cup appearance, reached the last 16 when the tournament was held four years ago in Brazil. The superstar wore a special red ribbon in his sock that was sent to him by a woman in Argentina who happens to be the mother of a journalist that the player knows pretty well. "We had several options in attack and I was just communicating to him that we'd be using one of the strategies that we'd rehearsed". "It's always a strong team to play against".

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